A Sign of Age?

For the second year in a row, I am riding my bicycle into the winter season. Part of the reason is COVID. When the pandemic hit I dropped my membership at the university’s recreation center, so I have no indoor place to exercise. As soon as I stop working out...

Good Enough for Me, But Not for My Daughter

I was living in San Francisco when ATMs first came out. I needed a few dollars to buy lunch before I crossed the Golden Gate Bridge to hike the Marin Headlands. It was a weekend, the lobby of my bank was closed, so I decided to try out one of the new automated cash...

Essays to My Daughter

For six years I have been working on a manuscript with the working title West of Sand County. Last week Justin Race, the executive director of Purdue University Press, emailed me to say the production team for the book wants to change the name. He acknowledged there...

A Talented Writer

I would not call it a pastime, nor would I call it a job, but one the regular duties I’ve taken on in recent years is helping Chinese and Chinese American teenagers apply to college. After Manyu and I guided Clare through the process, and after our friends Stefan and...

Cleaning Gutters

It’s been a quiet week on Hackberry Lane. The highlight of the past seven days may have been the annual cleaning of my gutters. I still do the job old school, meaning I climb a ladder to get chest-high to a clogged gutter and then pull out leaves for as far as I can...
Steven Simpson